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# Vector spaces

MJ03
8

1
2
A=
3

1
1
2
3

2
1
3
5

3
11
.

14
17

## Find the rank of A and a basis for the null space of T.



1
2
is denoted by e. Show that there is a solution of the equation Ax = Ae of the form
The vector
1

1
p
q
, where p and q are to be found.

x=
1

Question 8
1
At the outset, almost all responses showed the accurate reduction of A to the echelon form and the correct
determination of its rank. Beyond this initial stage, responses divided into two categories in the first of which
the echelon form was used as a means of determining a basis for the null space. Thus the better
candidates, the minority, worked directly from equations x y 2z + 3t = 0, y + 3z + 5t = 0 and so
established expeditiously a possible form for . The less inspired, and much more error prone, method
which was adopted by the majority, was to start with Ax = 0 with the given form of A without reference to the
echelon form previously obtained. This led to two independent linear equations in both of which there were
no zero coefficients and many candidates were then unable to work accurately from this situation to a correct
possible form of .
For the final part, less than a quarter of the candidature worked from
p 1
1
8

q - 2
3
5
l
m
=
+
+
1 - 1
- 1
0 ,

1 - 1
0
- 1

## though those who did so usually obtained the required result.

In contrast, the majority ignored the version of obtained and so loaded themselves with a much more
formidable task. They first evaluated Ae as (2, 6, 4, 2)T and then went on to solve, in some way, the
system Ax = (2, 6, 4, 2)T with xT preset to (p, q, 1, 1). The success rate for this strategy was less than
50%.
Answers: Rank of A = 2,
1 8

3 5
A basis for the null space is , ,
- 1 0
0 - 1

p = 17, q = 18.

ON03
Three n 1 column vectors are denoted by x1 , x2 , x3 , and M is an n n matrix. Show that if x1 , x2 , x3
are linearly dependent then the vectors Mx1 , Mx2 , Mx3 are also linearly dependent.


## The vectors y1 , y2 , y3 and the matrix P are dened as follows:

1
y1 =  5  ,
7

2
5
y2 =  3  , y3 =  51  ,
55
4
1 4
3
P = 0
2
5.
0
0 7

## (i) Show that y1 , y2 , y3 are linearly dependent.



(ii) Find a basis for the linear space spanned by the vectors Py , Py , Py .
1

Question 3



In general, this question was not well answered. Some candidates appeared not to know the difference
between linear dependence and linear independence. Moreover, many failed to see the relevance of the
first result to what was required in part (ii).
To begin with, there were a number of different strategies in evidence. The first was an attempt to produce
an argument such as
i xi = 0
i Mx i = 0 , so that xi linearly dependent not all i are zero

## Mxi are linearly dependent.

However, many candidate responses along these lines were defective in that there was no mention of the
requirement that not all i are zero.
Other candidates argued that as xi linearly dependent det(x1 x2 x3) = 0, then det(Mx1 Mx2 Mx3) =
det[(M(x1 x2 x3)] = det(M) det(x1 x2 x3) = det M.0 = 0, so that Mx1, Mx2, Mx3 are linearly dependent.
A further strategy, which was attempted by a few, was to argue that x1, x2, x3 linearly dependent e 0
such that (x1 x2 x3) e = 0 M(x1 x2 x3)e = M.0 = 0 (Mx1 Mx2 Mx3)e = 0 Mx1, Mx2, Mx3 are linearly
dependent.
Such arguments, however, were seldom complete so that as a general conclusion it is clear that most
candidates had only a limited understanding of the syllabus material appertaining to this question.
(i)

The majority of valid responses showed a linear dependence such as 9y1 2y2 y3 = 0. An
alternative strategy is to show that det(y1 y2 y3) = 0 and most working was both accurate and
complete in this respect. Likewise the correct reduction of the matrix (y1 y2 y3) to the echelon form
so as to establish its rank, followed by a properly argued conclusion, featured in some responses.

(ii)

By this stage of the question, it should have been clear to candidates that the basis of the specified
linear space must consist of exactly two linearly independent vectors and could therefore be given
immediately as {Py1, Py2} in numerical form. However, many responses showed the evaluation of
{Py1, Py2, Py3}.

2 13

Answer: (ii) 45 , 7 .
49 14

MJ04
10

## The linear transformation T : 4 4 is defined by

x
x
y
y
 A ,
T:

t
t
where
3
5
A=
6

1
0
2
3

3
7
6
9

2
7
.

+2

(i) Show that when 6, the dimension of the null space K of T is 1, and that when = 6, the
dimension of K is 2.


x1
y
1 , where x , y , are
(ii) For the case 6, determine a basis vector e1 for K of the form

1
1
1
1
0
integers.

x2
y
2 , where x , y , t are integers, such
(iii) For the case = 6, determine a vector e2 of the form
0

2
2 2
t2
that {e1 , e2 } is a basis of K .

5
1
5
1
, e = , show that x = e + k e + k e is a solution of the
(iv) Given that = 6, b =
10

1
0

0
1 1
2 2
15
1
equation Ax = b for all real values of k1 and k2 .

Question 10
This question highlighted much erroneous thinking with regard to the fundamentals of linear spaces and
systems of linear equations.
(i)

Many responses lacked clarity and frequently the impression was given that the candidate did not
understand what was required. In fact, a, simple way to proceed is to obtain an echelon form, such
5
2 1 4

0 5 6 11
. It is then a simple matter to deal with the cases 6 and = 6 . In
as
0 0
0 + 6

0 0
0
0

this respect what was required were arguments such as 6 dim(K ) = 4 r (A ) = 4 3 = 1 and
= 6 dim(K ) = 4 r (A ) = 4 2 = 2 . However, few candidates supplied such detail.
(ii)

(iii)

## A standard procedure here is to express x, y, z, t

x = 7 + 7, y = 6 11, z = 5, t = 5.
This not only provides a check of the result for e1 obtained in part (i), but also enables a result for
e2 to be written down.
1 5

1 5
In general terms, it was expected that the candidate would verify clearly that A = = b , and
1
10

1 15

then set out working such as, Ax1 = Aeo + k1 Ae1 + k2Ae2 = b + k10 + k20 = b, for all k1, k2.

(iv)

Some responses appeared to proceed along these lines though, it must be said, many such
arguments were incomplete in some important way.
7

6
Answers: (ii) e1 =
; (iii) e2 =
5

11
0 .

ON04
1

1
2

5
0
1
10

## Find the dimension of the null space of T.

2
1
2
13

6
7
.

10
29


Question 1
Most candidates produced a complete and correct response to this question. The most popular strategy was
to reduce the given matrix, A to the row-echelon form and then to use the dimension theorem to argue that if
K is the null space of T, then dim(K) = 4 r(A) = 1. However, some candidates, in defiance of the rubric,
obtained the echelon form of A directly from a graphic calculator and so did not gain full credit. Yet others
did not obtain an echelon form, but instead stopped the reduction process immediately a row of zeros had
been obtained. This too led to loss of marks.
4

0
A popular alternative strategy was to show from the echelon form of A that spans K, and hence that
1

1

dim(K) = 1. Actually, this vector can easily be obtained by working with linear equations based on the
original form of A. However, among the few candidates who employed this strategy, there were some who
did not complete their working by showing that within a multipicative constant no other non-zero vector
satisfies Ax = 0.

MJ05
11

1
A = 1
2

3
1
2

2
1  .



## Consider the system S of equations:

x + 3y + 2 = 1,
x y = 0,
2x + 2y + = 3 + 2.
(i) Show that if 1 then S has a unique solution. Find this solution in the case = 0.





## (iii) Show that if = 1 and 0 then S has no solution.



Question 11
Not all candidates attempted to answer the four parts of this question in a systematic way and so good
responses were very much in a minority. In fact, there was a lot of poorly presented work in evidence
together with a number of elementary errors. Because of the sequential nature of the reduction of a matrix to
the echelon form, it is essential that the working be checked at each stage, especially as conclusions
appertaining to the system of equations depend in an obvious way on the final form of the reduction.
2
1 3

About half of all candidates reduced the matrix A to 0 4 3 and so could determine r(A), the rank of
0 0 1

A, immediately, both for 1 and for the special case = 1 . The rest arrived at a correct conclusion for at
least one of the above cases, even though there were errors in the working.

For the first part of part (i), it is only necessary to point out that the system has an unique solution if r(A) = 3
which was proved previously to be the case for any 1 . However, most candidates ignored their previous
working and started again, or began with the unnecessary evaluation of det A.
2
1
1 3

## Reduction of the augmented matrix to the form (R): 0 4 3

1 together with setting = 0
0 0 1 3 + 3

will lead immediately to the required solution. Nevertheless, only a minority of candidates systematised their
working in this way.

Both parts (ii) and (iii) can be answered expeditiously using R, but again most candidates ignored their
earlier working, even if relevant to the problems here. A common error was to argue that [det(A) 0
system has a unique solution] [det A = 0 system has an infinite number of solutions.]
Answers: rank of A = 3 when 1 , rank of A = 2 when = 1 ; (i) x = 1, y = 2, z = 3.

ON05
11

1
4
A=
6

14

1
3
6
12

2
5
13
23

3
16
.

13
45



0
2

Ax =

(*)

## can be expressed in the form x0 + e, where .



Hence show that there is no vector which satisfies (*) and has all its elements positive.



Question 11
1

0
Most candidates began by reducing A to an echelon form such as E =
0

1
1
0
0

2 3

3 4
1 5

0 0

## from which they

The better candidates then deduced that the dimension of the null space is 1 and hence, using an equation
of the form Ex = 0, easily obtained a result for the vector e. They also obtained a correct result for x0 in a
systematic and clearly intelligible way from the given equation (*). Candidates who did less well with this
question generally had more difficulty in obtaining e than x0. Their method did not involve a separate
consideration of Ex = 0 but instead, they generally worked with the 4 linear equations represented by (*) in a
haphazard way.
The final part of this question showed up a general deficiency in the understanding of inequality arguments,
as was the case in Question 5 (iii). The majority of candidates started from the general solution
1 2

1 11
, or, at least, something like it. Many subsequent arguments were either incomplete or
x=
1 + 5

erroneous. Thus some considered only > 0 and < 0 but not = 0 . Others got as far as considering the
two key inequalities 1 11 > 0 , 1 + 5 > 0 but still were unable to complete a convincing argument. In fact,
1
1
these 2 inequalities taken together imply that <
and > which is clearly impossible.
11
5

1
2

1
11
x0 = , e =
5
1

0
1

MJ06
4

1
2
A=
5

1
3
6
5

2
4
10
8

3
5
.

14
11

## Show that the dimension of the range space of T is 2.



Let M be a given 4 4 matrix and let S be the vector space consisting of vectors of the form MAx,
where x 4 . Show that if M is non-singular then the dimension of S is 2.

Question 4
Responses to the first part of this question were generally complete and correct, but in contrast very few
candidates made any significant progress with the remainder.
Candidates generally established the echelon form
1 1

0 1
0 0
0 0

2 3

0 1
0 0

0 0

for the matrix A and hence obtained the dimension of RT, the range space of T. Some, however,
unnecessarily worked with the transpose of A and so increased the risk of introducing errors into the
working.
For the last part of this question, suppose that b1, b2 are basis vectors of RT and consider the linear form
L = Mb1 + Mb2. Since M is given to be non-singular, then M1L exists and equals b1 + b2 which, since
dim(RT) = 2, cannot be the zero vector unless and are both zero. Thus Mb1 and Mb2 are linearly
independent and so dim(S) = 2.

ON06
5

## Show that if a 3 then the system of equations

2x + 3y + 4 = 5,
4x + 5y  = 5a + 15,
6x + 8y + a = b 2a + 21,
has a unique solution.



Given that a = 3, find the value of b for which the equations are consistent.



Question 5
Most candidates had a clear idea of what was expected of them. The most popular strategy was to attempt
to reduce the matrix
5
2 3 4

5a + 15
4 5 1
6 8 a b 2a + 21

## to an echelon form such as

4
5
2 3

0
1
9
5
25

.
0 0 a 3 b 7a + 11

From here both parts of the question can be answered immediately. However, there were many arithmetic
errors in the working so that complete success was achieved only by a minority.
Those who worked with equations did less well mainly because their algebra was badly organised. The
syllabus does not demand a knowledge of the concept of the echelon form but nevertheless, it is clear that
its application to problems of this type is more likely to lead to success than the undisciplined implementation
of Guassian elimination.

MJ07
OR

1
2
M=
3

2
4
6
10

2
5
8
12

4
9
.

14
22



## (ii) Obtain a basis for the null space, K , of T.



(iii) Evaluate

1
2
,
M
3

4
and hence show that any solution of
5
11

Mx =
17

27

()

## has the form

1
2
+ e + e ,
3

1
2
4
where and are constants and {e1 , e2 } is a basis for K .



(iv) Find the solution x1 of () such that the first component of x1 is A, and the sum of all the

components of x1 is B.

Question 12 OR
Most candidates attempting this alternative were able to reduce the matrix to echelon form and deduce that
its rank was 2. Then, using a system of equations from the reduced matrix, they obtained, mostly
successfully, the basis for the null space.
Almost every candidate getting this far was able to evaluate the matrix product correctly. The next step,
however, caused problems, because many candidates did not appreciate the distinction between showing
that the given form was a solution of the equation and what they were asked to show, which was that any
solution of the equation had the given form.
There were very few good attempts at the last part of the question. This required setting up two equations,
one for A and one for B, both in terms of and . The equations then had to be solved for and . Thus the
solution could be given in terms of A and B.
A

2 2
5

B A 1

0
1
11

1 0
17
2

2

27
1
0

1
3
A

+ B

2 2

ON07
10

## The vectors b1 , b2 , b3 , b4 are defined as follows:

1
0
,
b1 =
0

1
1
,
b2 =
0

1
1
,
b3 =
1

1
1
.
b4 =
1

The linear space spanned by b1 , b2 , b3 is denoted by V1 and the linear space spanned by b1 , b2 , b4 is
denoted by V2 .
(i) Give a reason why V1 V2 is not a linear space.



(ii) State the dimension of the linear space V1 V2 and write down a basis.



Consider now the set V3 of all vectors of the form qb2 + rb3 + sb4 , where q, r , s are real numbers.
Show that V3 is a linear space, and show also that it has dimension 3.

Determine whether each of the vectors
4
4

2

and

5
4

2

## belongs to V3 and justify your conclusions.



Question 10
This question was the least well-done question on the paper. A comment, with some evidence, to the effect
that V1 V2 was not closed under addition was required for part (i). In part (ii) identifying (b1, b2) as a basis
gave the dimension of V1 V2 as 2. Showing V3 is closed under addition was sufficient for the next mark.
Identifying (b2, b3, b4) as a basis and showing the dimension of V3 to be 3 gained the next two marks.
The final part could be tackled as follows.
4
1
1
1 4

4
1
1
1 4
2 = 2 0 3 1 + 5 1 2 V3

5
0
0
1 5

5 4

4 4
2 = 2 +

5 5

1
5
1
x

0
4
0
y
0 and 0 V3 2 V3 or z V3 x = y not true for

0
5
0
t

5

4
2 .

5

MJ08

OR

1
1

2
3
0
3

1
1
3
4

1
0
.

1
1

## The range space of T is denoted by V .

(i) Determine the dimension of V .



1
1
2
1 3 1
, , are linearly independent.
(ii) Show that the vectors
1

0

3

0
3
4





## The set of elements of 4 which do not belong to V is denoted by W .

(iv) State, with a reason, whether W is a vector space.



x
y
belongs to W then y  t 0.
(v) Show that if the vector




Question 12 OR

Candidates choosing this alternative generally performed less well than those candidates who chose the
other alternative. In many cases little was done beyond the first two parts. In part (i) candidates were well
used to reducing the matrix to echelon form, but some made arithmetical errors or stopped well short and
lost a mark in doing so. The mark for the dimension of V could be obtained nevertheless. In part (ii), the most
popular approach was to show that if a linear combination of the vectors gave the zero vector then the only
solution was the trivial one. A good number, however, used row reduction methods with matrices. A number
of candidates did not appreciate the demands of the phrase show that and thought that a statement of what
linear dependence meant was sufficient. Part (iii) following on from part (ii) should have been obvious, but
some ignored part (ii). In part (iv), W was not a vector space and the absence of the zero vector or nonclosure under addition were sufficient reasons. In part (v), again, show that was misinterpreted by some of
those candidates who made an attempt at this part. The best approach was probably to use row reduction
x
x

y
y
on an augmented matrix to show that V y z t = 0 hence W y z t 0 . Other
z
z

t
t

approaches, via a system of equations, were equally acceptable.
1

1
Answers: (i) 3; (iii) ,
1
0

2

3
0 ,

3

1
3 ; (iv) No, no zero vector or other valid reason.

12 OR
(i) Transform given matrix to an echelon form, e.g.,
1

0
0

2 1 1

1 0
1
.
0 1
1

0 0
0

M1A1
dim(V ) = 3 OR BY EQUIVALENT METHOD If written down with no working 1/3

1
2
1

1
3
1
(ii) 1 + 2 + 3 = 0 1 = 2 = 3 = 0, shown linear independence
3
0
1

4
3
0

1

1
(iii) ,
1
0

2

3
0 ,

3

1

1
3

4

2
3
0

1
1
3

3 4

M2A2

B1

(iv) W not a vector space since W does not contain the zero vector, or equivalent
or not closed wrt addition
1

1
(v) Reduces
1

B1

x
1

y
0

z
0

t
0

x
2 1

yx
1 0

0 4 3x + 2 y + z

y + z + t
0 0

x

y
b V iff y z t = 0 or equivalent method
z

t

b W y z t 0

B1

M1A1

M1A1

A1

1 2 1
x

1 3 1
y
Alternative: suppose = + + (i.e. in V)
3
0
1
z

0 3 4
t

x = ...
y = ...
y z t = ... = 0
z = ...
t = ...

x

y
Hence W y z t 0
z

t

## The matrix A is defined by

1
2
A=
3

ON08

1
1
3
6

2
7
6
17

3
2
.

17

(i) Show that if = 9 then the rank of A is 2, and find a basis for the null space of A in this case.

(ii) Find the rank of A when 9.



Question 6
The vast majority of candidates knew that it was necessary to reduce the matrix A to echelon form and
invariably this was done correctly. Those who worked with rather than 9 were able to use their reduced
matrix in the final part of the question. Finding the basis for the null space of A caused problems for some.
The usual method was to find a two-parameter solution for the two equations and separate the terms. There
were six essentially different acceptable results, each of which could have opposite signs, or constant
multipliers.
5 1
17 5
17 1

3 4
0 3
0 4
Answers: (i) , or , or , or
1 0
4 1
4 0
0 1
3 0
3 1

5 0

3 17
,
or
1 1
0 5

1 0
17 0

4 17
0 17
,
or 4 , 1 ;
0 1

1 5
3 5

(ii) 3.

1 1 2 3

4
0 1 3
0 0
0 9

0 0

0
0

M1A1

## = 9 last 2 rows consist entirely of zeros r (A ) = 2

5

3
A basis for the null space of A is ,
1
0
(ii) 9 0

r (A ) = 3

1

4
0 , or equivalent

1

A1

M1A1

M1
A1

OR

MJ09

The linear transformations T1 : >4 >4 and T2 : >4 >4 are represented by the matrices M1 and
M2 , respectively, where
1
1
M1 =
1

1
4
7
2

1
7
11
5

2
8
,

13
5

2
5
M2 =
3

13

0
1
1
1

1
3
1
6

1
3
.

1
6

## (i) Find a basis for R1 , the range space of T1 .



(ii) Find a basis for K2 , the null space of T2 , and hence show that K2 is a subspace of R1 .



## The set of vectors which belong to R1 but do not belong to K2 is denoted by W .

(iii) State whether W is a vector space, justifying your answer.



The linear transformation T3 : >4 >4 is the result of applying T1 and then T2 , in that order.
(iv) Find the dimension of the null space of T3 .



Question 12 OR
This was much the more popular of the two alternatives, but those candidates trying it found only limited
success. For part (i), most of those attempting the question used row or column operations to reduce the
matrix to echelon form. Some stopped short of this stage and lost one or both marks. Those who got a
correct echelon form mostly found a correct basis for R1. Similarly in part (ii), row operations were used on
the matrix, or its transpose, to obtain an echelon form. From this the basis of K2 was deduced, usually from
a set of equations. Those who operated on the transpose frequently wrote results of the operations on the
a

.
vector beside the matrix. This resulted in
c
a + b + 2c

d
c d

The basis could then be written down from the 3rd and 4th elements, which corresponded to the zero rows in
the matrix. Few candidates obtained the fifth mark by showing that each basis vector was a linear
combination of the basis vectors of R1. In part (iii), the most straightforward justification for W not being a
vector space was to say that it did not contain the zero vector. Only a small number said this. It was not
uncommon for statements to appear which could not be substantiated. Only a handful of candidates got
0 7 14 14

0 18 36 36
, hence
anywhere with part (iv). One way of tackling the problem was to find M2M1 =
0 10 20 20

0 45 90 90

nullity = 4 r(M2M1) = 4 1 = 3. Alternatively, for any vector x, M2M1x = M2(b1 + b2 + b3), where b1, b2,
b3 are any 3 linearly independent basis vectors of R1, 2 of which must be basis vectors of K2. Hence if b1
and b2 are basis vectors of K2, then the dimension of the null space of T3 = 4 1 = 3.
1 0 0
3 0 0
1 1
1 0

1 3 0
0 3 0
1 1
1 0
Answers: (i) e.g. , , or , , ; (ii) e.g. , or , ; (iv) 3.
1
6
1
0
0
1
0
2

1 1

1 1 1
1 7 - 1
2 0
1 - 1

12 OR
(i) Reduces M1 to col echelon form by elementary col operations
or M1T to row echelon form by elementary row operations

0
T
M1
0

0
3
0
0

3
0 1

0
0 7
,
hence
1 1
0

1
0 0

3
0

1
0
0
1

M1

A1

M1

## (Allow M1A1M1 for any other valid method)

1 0 0
3 0 0

1 3 0
0 3 0
Any correct basis of R1, e.g. , , or , ,
1 6 1
0 0 1

1 1 1
1 7 1

A1

or for (i)

0
Reduces M1 to row echelon form by elementary row operations
0

1
1
0
0

1
2
2
0

2
1

M1

A1

## No working for echelon matrix here, or in (ii) gets B1

rr(M1) = 3 any 3 li columns form a basis of M1

1 1 1

1 4 7
Any correct basis of R1, e.g., , ,
1 7 11
1 2 5

## May be implied by answer

M1

A1

or
detM1 = 0 (calculator)

M1

rM1 3

A1

## First 3 columns of M1 are clearly linearly independent

M1

Hence basis

A1

0
(ii) Reduces M2 to echelon form by elementary row operations
0

0 1 1

2 1 1
0 0 0

0 0 0

M1

A1

M1

## (Allow M1A1M1 for any other valid method)

1 1
1 0

1 1
1 0
Any correct basis of K2, e.g., , or ,
0 2
1 1

2 0
1 1

A1

## Shows each basis element of K2 is in R1 (AG)

B1

First 4 marks

5
3 13 a
2
2

1 1 1 b 0
0
T

M2 =
1 3 1 6 c 0

1 3 1 6 d 0

1 0

1 0
Basis is ,
2 1
0 1

5 3 13
a

1 1 1
b

0 0 0 a + b + 2c

0 0 0 c d

M1A1

M1A1

(iii) Any valid argument, e.g., W does not contain zero vector so W not a vector space

B1

(iv) For any vector x, M2M1x = M2( b1 + b2 + b3), where b1, b2, b3 are any 3 l.i. basis
vectors of R1, 2 of which must be basis vectors of K2

M1

A1

## Hence as dim(range of T3) = 1, then the dimension of the null space of T3 = 4 1 = 3

A1

0 7 14

0 18 36
or M2M1 =
0 10 20

0 45 90

B1

Nullity = 4 r(M2M1) = 3

14

36
20

90

M1A1